Nathan Gorman talks to Danny Flexen about his first pro loss, to Daniel Dubois, and why the future remains dazzlingly bright
Boxing clichés are, for the most part, incredibly irritating. Styles make fights? You don’t say. A good big’un beats a good littl’un? Give yourself a pat on the back. But I must confess that one such assertion has emerged in recent times that is not entirely without merit: “You win or you learn.” Generally uttered by fighters and trainers who have recently suffered a defeat, the general message is no less sensible. Every loss has within it lessons that could prove vital over the longer term. It is one of the reasons why talented heavyweight Nathan Gorman, last seen losing a highly anticipated domestic showdown with Daniel Dubois in July, retains ample hope for a bright future.
“Emotions got the better of me,” Gorman reflects of the fifth-round knockout reverse in whichhe had his moments but unwisely chose to trade with the bigger puncher. “I wanted to go in that ring and knock him out, but in hindsight I’m the boxer, the slickster, I should have been jabbing, holding, messing him around, aiming to get a unanimous points win or a late stoppage. I was looking for a concussive KO and that’s not really me; I normally put my punches together. To be totally honest with you, I was crap, but, at 23, if I can’t learn from that – I was beat, cut, knocked down, headlined a massive show at the O2 – it’s all experience I can take from that. I’ve still got 10 years’ boxing ahead of me. The thing is now, I’m looking forward to every training session.”
Aside from the tactical mistake, Gorman also learned that he should spend some much-needed time with his young family. Son Nathan, aged two, had been seriously ill during the camp for Dubois, while daughter Valencia was born during fight week. With the contest now consigned to history and Nathan Jr full recovered, Gorman has been able to enjoy being back at home. It is a factor in why Dubois makes his second appearance since their battle this Saturday, while Gorman has yet to return.
“I had about 10-12 weeks off after the fight, I wanted to spend some time with my family,” the Nantwich man tells me. “I was hoping to get out in December but they [Queensberry Promotions] said it’d be early next year instead. Valencia is five months old and doing really well, my little boy is great; everything is perfect now.
“Obviously with my little boy, I had eight weeks left before the fight, I’m only human and if a doctor says to you, ‘Your little boy has a tumour on his chest’, it’s gonna affect you mentally. I got through that then my little girl was born on the Tuesday before the fight and she was not very well, there were a few complications. At the I was time putting it back into my subconscious, but looking back now I wasn’t fine. For all I know I could have been 100 per cent right and the same occurrence could have happened. Dubois won on the night and did it in style. God willing, we fight again.”
Gorman clearly harbours regret, but there is acceptance too and a stanchly held believe that this setback could be the making, rather than the breaking of him. Still exceptionally young in heavyweight terms, though boasting a mature mindset and experience that belies his age, Gorman is keen to resume his promising career at a similarly high level, rather than rebuild against a raft of tomato cans, a desire which should be applauded.
“I’ll be back at the mid-end of February,” he reveals. “That’s ideal for me. I spoke to my management team and I don’t really want an eight-rounder or a knockover job; they are all well and good but what good is that gonna do for me? I want a credible name and to get back into the mix. There’s a few I’d like to box, someone that’s well known. I know I’m coming off a defeat but not to a bum or a journeyman.”
On that subject, Gorman holds no bitterness towards his conqueror and indeed hopes Dubois goes as far as he can, preserving Nathan’s own reputation in the process. The likeable stylist cannot see his old rival’s Royal Albert Hall main event against Kyotaro Fujimoto going beyond three rounds, but is yet to be fully convinced regarding his fellow heavyweight’s ballyhooed power.
“He isn’t this monster power puncher,” Gorman observes. “I’ve been hit harder by lesser names. He’s a big, fine lad, a 6ft 5in, 17-and-a-half-stone man, he can punch, but he’s not a dynamite puncher. If he hit you clean five times, he might knock you down five times, but you’d get up every time. He’s more sharp than anything.
“But he had the right tactics. He was waiting a bit more than usual to set up his punches, he knew he couldn’t load up with me. He was picking his punches a lot more. His corner done a great job as well.”
Gorman can take a semblance of consolation every time Dubois despatches another victim, especially if they provide less resistance than he managed. For the moment, however, Nathan is content to put “Dynamite” in his rear-view mirror and focus on his own path. You win or you learn, and Gorman cannot wait to translate his recent education into future success.